Our ambitions extend beyond understanding the dynamics of real sandpiles. Nevertheless, experiments on sandpiles can be viewed as the first test of self-organized criticality. If the theory that large dynamic systems organize themselves to a critical state cannot even explain sandpiles, then what can it explain? Our abstract model grossly oversimplifies real sand, but we still hope that our experiments live up to our predictions. However, nature has no obligation to obey our ideas; our intuition could be entirely wrong. Theory has to be confronted eventually with real-world observations, so we study sandpiles and we ask, Do they or don’t they self-organize to the critical state?
KeywordsRiver Network Sand Pile Nature Work Sandpile Model Granular Pile
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